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next on "msnbc sunday" -- breaking news, terror worries intensified. the u.s. and british embassies in yemen have been closed today in the face of growing threats from al qaeda. meanwhile, even more missed signals have reportedly emerged in the terror plane probe. also ahead, the deep freeze. a large swath of the states are shivering and it's a blast of dangerous arctic air. just what will the frigid front end? plus, cornered and captured, the suspect in the thanksgiving day massacre is captured. live with how details and how police finally got their man. how high will gas prices go in the new year? and, the building soars a half mile into the sky. the tallest skyscraper in the world opens tomorrow. but we'll set our sights on it today. good morning, everybody. i'm david shuster in for alex witt, at 9:00 eastern, 8:00
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pacific -- actually 6:00 pacific, here's what's happening right now. first up, we are following breaking news at this hour. an active threat by al qaeda has forced the closure of the u.s. embassy in yemen's capital city of sana. the british embassy is closed. all 500 u.s. embassy employees have been instructed to stay away until further notice and to remain inside their homes as much as possible. this comes just hours after the head of u.s. central command general david petraeus made a surprise trip to yemen to talk counterterrorism efforts with yemen's president. and on the same weekend as president obama acknowledged for the first time the connection between al qaeda and yemen and that suspect in the failed christmas bombing attack. nbc's mike viqueira joins us live from the white house. mike, any word this morning from the obama administration or is this all simply the state department in terms of the closure of the u.s. embassy in yemen? >> actually, the white house homeland security adviser here at the white house john brennan is making the rounds, appearing
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on "meet the press" first and foremost, saying there is a threat from al qaeda that has resulted in the temporary closure of the american embassy in yemen. the capital there sana, we learned that british embassy is being closed. a nonspecific threat, but out of an abundance of caution, embassy employees are being told to stay in their home. all told, there are about 500 employees of the u.s. embassy there. this comes after a number of developments over the weekend. of course, david, you mentioned, that the president specifically confirmed what many had suspected yesterday in his radio and internet address, he said that it was an al qaeda connection. aqap, they call it. al qaeda on the arabian peninsula where the suspect in the detroit bombing had spent time. he received training and had contact with al qaeda members there. general david petraeus, he is the top u.s. commander in the middle east, spent time there over the weekend, consulting with yemen's president with officials there, talking about the fight against al qaeda. we're told that yemen is devoting more resources to that
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fight, moving troops to troubled areas, although it must be said that many experts believe that yemen -- the government central government in yemen has very little control over great swaths of the territory there, some 95% of the territory is sort of a frontier wilderness or no man's land according to many experts. a number of developments, david. it all spells trouble and a new stronghold for an old enemy, al qaeda in yemen. >> and mike, the timing is so intriguing because it would clearly suggest since this came after the meetings with petraeus and yemen's president, either petraeus heard something from yemen's president that convinced him, okay, we need to close these embassies or he either maybe didn't get something out of yemen's president he was looking for. any indications from the administration about tensions between the yemeni government and the obama administration? >> no. no indication, david. it could also be that this is an upshot of the renewed scrutiny after that warted airline bombing attempt. remember the president ordered
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that review of the human and systemic failures, as he terms it, that led to that young man being allowed on that air flight from amsterdam into detroit. he has got the preliminary results of that review, he's called a big meeting for tuesday at the white house. he's returning on monday from his hawaiian vacation. he's been there since christmas eve. the heads of all these agencies, the nsa, tsa, the cia, the state department, the fbi, the whole alphabet soup of national security and military institutions and agencies here in washington, is going to be meeting in the situation room and, perhaps, it was a result of that renewed scrutiny. of course the president did reveal that detail that we have learned since the thwarted attack, that al qaeda in yemen played a very large role in it. perhaps that was part of the upshot, some of the new information we're learning. >> what's the key in terms of this tuesday meeting that president obama has called for at the white house when he returns from vacation? what specifically is he asking
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from all of his intelligence agency heads on this? >> this information that he shared with the american people yesterday, that al qaeda on the arabian peninsula had a hand in this thwarted attack, wants to know why intelligence agencies didn't share that information with each other? after all, it was the 9/11 commission that is responsible, their recommendations, for forming many of these very same agencies, they were supposed to share this information. this was the problem prior to 9/11 and apparently it still lingers in the u.s. government, david. >> nbc's mike viqueira at the white house, thanks for the report. more now on this developing news about what's happening in yemen from "washington post" national security reporter. what is your latest reporting and "the washington post's" latest reporting as far as what prompted the closing of both the u.s. embassy and the british embassy today in yemen? >> yeah. we don't know the exact information that came in about this. it's not the first time the embassies there have come under threat. it happened as recently as july of last year. it's perpetual problem and it
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just underscores how difficult the situation is on the ground there. people have called yemen the next war and if you look at it, there's striking similarities between this situation and what we see in pakistan with insurgencies in parts of the country, lawless tribal areas nobody governs, al qaeda making inroads and creating training camps, just a huge festering problem and it's getting worse. >> let's go into that a little bit further in terms of, i don't know, maybe the border between saudi arabia and yemen. they share a border, obviously. are there concerns that yemen has essentially become a flocking point for people either in saudi arabia or really even the region, who are disaffected and want to take some sort of action or get some sort of help in taking action against the united states? >> yeah. the saudis are very concerned about this, and it's one of the features of the area, nobody even knows exactly where the border is. some of the successes we've had have been through the saudis for taking this issue very seriously, trying to crack down on movement across the border, but it's even bigger than that because as you know there's
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also -- yemen is on the coast, the red seacoast, and there's all kinds of movement back and forth between yemen and the horn of africa. so it's a very difficult problem to contain, very porous borders, bad actors going back and forth, you name it, it's just a big problem. >> and mike viqueira mentioned the instability of the yemeni government there. how concerned are u.s. officials about the ability to -- of the yemen government to essentially crack down itself, or maybe even the inability to be able to take the resources of the united states and put them to good use in their own country? >> yeah. unfortunately, the central government controls the capital sana and that's pretty much it in terms of their real authority in the area. as we heard earlier, about 90% of the country is essentially lawless. the central government's ability, when it's motivated, when it really wants to do something about this problem, is limited and as we've seen, you know, time and time again in the past few years, they're not always really committed to the al qaeda problem because they have bigger problems. they have two civil wars going
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on, a real struggle for the survival of the central government. we think now finally they've gotten the message al qaeda is a threat to them as well as the united states. hopefully we'll see this money and this extra effort niche ittive bear some fruit. >> and then a final question here in terms of, obviously, the deep concern of u.s. officials, simply the capability of al qaeda in yemen to bring some sort of terrorist attack to the united states and maybe not just through trying to plant a bomb on a u.s. bound jetliner, how concerned are u.s. officials about that? >> they're very concerned. i think they see this, again, as having many echos of the pakistani situation. al qaeda training and equipping and, you know, giving people bombs, sophisticated bombs at that aren't picked up by detectors. that's a real wake-up call. they have those kinds of capabilities, porous borders and travel into africa and perhaps up to the european mainland into this country, you know, this is a very serious wake-up call for
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a lot of people this morning. >> "washington post" national security reporter joeby warric, thanks for coming in this morning. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. today on "meet the press," deputy national security adviceser john brennan on how the terror attempt over detroit might have been prevented. also on the show, former homeland security chairman michael chertoff and former cia director michael hayden, check your local listings for the times in your area. a record blast of arctic cold in parts of the country today. maine is bracing for what could be a one-two bunch, a combination of strong winds and falling snow will lead to blizzard or near-blizzard conditions in parts of that state. take a look at the big waves the storm stirred up along the massachusetts coast on saturday. roads were flooded. a few homes were flooded as well. 6 to 10 inches of snow blanketed massachusetts and more snow is in the forecast for the state, and also for parts of upstate new york, like buffalo. windchills in buffalo today are
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expected to fall below zero. the weather channel's alex wallace is in atlanta with a check on the weather. alex? >> yeah. absolutely, you mentioned some of that snow moving in across portions of new england and we continue to find that driving on by. generally coming in here from the north here and moving towards the south and the west, moving through parts of new york state, down into massachusetts, including around the boston area here for us, we're dealing with some of that snow. but we do anticipate to find that winding down a bit and picking up a bit for us as we head into portions of the great lakes. this is where we anticipate to see it increasing in the amounts here in terms of the accumulating snow. you can see around erie, 10 to 15 inches of snow going to be possible. less than that as we get towards pittsburgh, sort of in that general 1 to 2 inch range. syracuse for us, we could be measuring over a foot and lesser amounts as we move our way back into new england. looks like portland, maine, to boston, an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow for us. the story is going to be the wind here. starting to wind down a bit, but
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in the meantime you can see the time stamp as we head into sunday in the early afternoon, we're talking winds 20 to 25 miles per hour out there. we have to wait on this big system to slide it ways on off toward the east, move away from the coast, and as we get into tonight, overnight into tuesday, those winds start to calm down a bit for us, now getting into the 10 to 15 mile an hour range. still a breezy time for us, still very cold and also a very snowy as well for a lot of folks across a lot of the u.s. steve? >> alex wallace at the weather channel, alex, thanks for the report. still ahead, it's a new year, but is it a new normal at the gas pumps? we will look at what is in store for your wallet overall in 2010. plus, the eye on the tiger fortune. the wife of the disgraced golf star reportedly sizing up her financial stake in their troubled marriage. we'll bring you the latest. you're watching "msnbc sunday." taste, and intensity.
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welcome back to "msnbc sunday." we are following some breaking news, both the u.s. and british embassies in the capital city of sana have been closed and closed because of an active threat according to u.s. officials by al qaeda in yemen. and again, this is according to the obama administration's top counterterrorism official, john brenn brennan. brennan said today, quote, we are not going to take any chances. this comes just hours after the head of u.s. central command, general david petraeus, met with yemen's president to talk about increasing counterterrorism efforts in the country. and it also came on the same weekend of president obama acknowledged for the first time publicly the connection between al qaeda and yemen and that suspect in the failed christmas bombing attack over detroit. a big development this
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morning in the thanksgiving day murder case in florida. the suspect is now behind bars after spending five weeks on the run. police arrested paul merhige at a motel last night in the florida keys. he stands accused of killing his twin sisters, his aunt and his cousin's 6-year-old daughter. the little girl's parents reacted to the arrest this morning on the "today" show. >> it was a huge relief to know that the monster is in the cage the last, you know, ever since we've come back into the house, i've been in protective mode and we've had jupiter police in front of our house and in back protecting us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. even with that, i would be inside my house, you know, patrolling the different windows. >> nbc's michelle kosinski is live in miami with more. good morning. >> hi, david. yeah, that family really lived in fear for the rest of these five weeks.
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you know, after they had it to endure that thanksgiving massacre. the rest of the community, too, was afraid. what kuz so terrifying was that police say this man paul merhige, had meticulously planned out his attack, he was armed and dangerous, and nobody knew where he was or what he might or might not be planning next. this is someone who was spotted on surveillance video in the days leading up to the shootings, getting his car tuned up, taking cash out of the bank, and buying guns. this family says he sat pleasantly through thanksgiving dinner and when it was over and everybody was saying good-bye, he went out to his car, came back with a gun and started shooting. he killed his twin sisters, one of whom was pregnant, elderly aunt and a 6-year-old as she slept. police say he also meticulously planned out an escape, that he had his passport, cash that he didn't want to leave a paper trail, and several guns including a sniper rifle. what brought him down and led to his arrest was a tip from a
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sharp eyed citizen. >> notice the similarity in the vehicle and similarity in mr. merhige as a whole and decided they would call in the tip and we're glad they did. you know, we don't know how much longer this case might have gone on, although we were all diligently working as a team, it was a very complex case and mr. merhige was a difficult capture and i'm glad we do have him in custody today. >> reporter: the tipster had just seen a special episode of "america's most wanted" to try to regenerate some attention on the case. for five weeks there had been no sign of this man and nobody knew if he left the country or if he was here. investigators say they had been focusing on that part of florida. they were led by this tip to a motel room in the middle of the florida keys, david. >> nbc's michelle kosinski in miami, thanks for the report. still ahead, it is a tower of wealth and wow. it is the tallest building in
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the world and it opens tomorrow. we will take a closer look at this skyscraper today. also coming up, tops in the tech world in the year ahead. the gismos that will catch your eye, but will they be a must buy. we'll talk with "the washington post" neil irwin about the job prospects in 2010 for everybody. and special care. nobody knows that better than children's tylenol. it works with little bodies... to reduce fevers while easing aches and pains. for over fifty years, pediatricians and parents have trusted... children's tylenol... to care for little bodies... while they're growing big. announcer: you could buy 300 bottles of water. or just one brita filter. ( drop plinks ) brita-- better for the environment
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to you now to higher elevations at the pumps. the average price for regular gasoline has edged up a half cent to $2.66 a gallon, that is 6 cents more than a week ago. by the way, we are now paying over a dollar more than a year ago today. now to the economy. leading economists say jobs, jobs will bring the u.s. fully out of recession, but when will job creation begin to happen in 2010? at least on a national scale? "washington post" staff writer neil irwin joins us now. neil, good morning. >> good morning, david.
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>> let me just set this up for you. latest article, give you credit, you write the financial crisis is over, that the danger of it melting down, it's all over. but the job prospect outlook for 2010, what is it? >> it's not great, but it does look like things are starting to turn around. we might see job growth even as early as this past month. we will find out on friday what december job growth or loss was. the forecast is somewhere around zero. we might see a positive number. most economists are forecasting we will see positive job growth some time in the spring. job growth alone isn't enough because the population is always growing, labor force is always growing, so for the unemployment rate to come down, what you need is strong job growth, 130,000 jobs a month, we're a long way from that it appears. >> when you look at the periods in the united states, the last 20 years, where there has been strong growth, for example the tech boom, advent of computers, seems to be some specific new product or service for the american people or people around the world that essentially fuels
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this job growth. >> right. and, you know, the truth is, right now we're in such a deep hole there's a lot of digging out to do. just as the economy kind of mends and comes back to something resembling normal we should see some pretty good job growth as the expansion continues. the problem is, will this expansion continue the way it has the last few months? will we see a double dip as the stimulus fades, as some of these supports for the housing industries fades. there's a lot of risk out there that this expansion doesn't have the legs we need to really get out of this deep hole that we're in. >> what are the pitfalls that economists and people you're talking to see out there? >> again, housing is one. so, you know, we've seen 134 some pretty good expansion in the housing sector, come off those deep lows. that's been supported by a lot of things, the first-time home buyer's tax credit, fed programs to get mortgage rates down, a lot of action by the government, some of that goes away, you know, the question is will housing stay -- remain stable, will prices have another leg to fall? that's a risk. another risk is just that, you
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know, as all these government efforts more broadly fade, that the private sector isn't there to pick up the slack that a real expansion isn't ready to get going just yet. >> it does appear there is something of an expansion already under way like the service sector, for example? >> that's right. the truth is not just service. we're seeing it in manufacturing. because what happened is, employers and businesses cut back so much during the, you know, last year, last fall, last spring, that they have, you know, a lot of excess capacity a lot of machines sitting idle. they're bringing those back, trying to rebuild inventories. we have some progress in the economy. again, hasn't turned up in the job market just yet but we might see that the day before too long. >> neil, put you on the spot here. if there's one particular profession that you think will do really well in terms of job growth, what is it and likewise, particular profession, other than journalism, where the job prospects are not great? >> you know where things look good right now, a lot of expansion in temporary help. so obviously everyone wants a permanent job, but what's
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happening, companies are not sure if this demand they're seeing is going to persist, how confident they are in the recovery, but they have demand so they need workers. they're going to temp firms. the numbers in temp employment have expanded a lot in the last few months. on what looks bad, i don't know. that's a big swath of things and our industry is one of them. >> put journalism down. neil irwin from "the washington pos post", thanks for coming on. >> thank you, david. we will look at the day's top stories in just a moment, including some of the breaking developments in yemen where the u.s. and british embassies have suddenly been closed. also ahead, why you might soon call elin woods, miss fortune. you're watching "msnbc sunday." release medicine fast to relieve painful coughs, congestion and sore throats. so you can feel better.
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good morning, everybody. i'm david shuster in washington in today for alex witt on "msnbc sunday." more on our top story developing this morning. both the u.s. and british
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embassies in yemen have been closed in response to what officials describe as a, quote, active threat from al qaeda. this comes in the wake of president obama for the first time this weekend, at least first time publicly, linking the christmas day bombing suspect to al qaeda in yemen. and today, there was some pretty interesting developments reported by "newsweek," the magazine is reporting the breakdown in the u.s. intelligence system leading up to the botched terror attack, may have been much worse than has been publicly acknowledged. today on "meet the press," president obama's top counterterrorism adviser john brennan addressed the situation. >> american people should expect its government is going to do everything, in fact, to hold those individuals accountable, whether they are in yemen, whether they are in other places. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula poses a serious threat. they've attacked our embassy, carried out attacks against saudi targets and they're trying to bring these attack to the homeland. >> joining us is "newsweek"
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investigative correspondent mark hosenball. when we talk about the, perhaps, the failure to link all this intelligen intelligence, that it may have been much more of a failure than has been publicly knowledged, what are we talking about here? >> we have information that we report today on-line and in our magazine, that mr. brennan, guys you just showed there, was visited a few months ago by the saudi counterterrorisms, his counterpart over there, who had been attacked by a man with a bomb now appears in his underpants several months ago, and prince nayaf, the saudi counter terrorism czar, gave mr. brennan, a detailed forensic briefing, on this underpants bomb that -- and underpants bomber who tried to assassinate him, and apparently the u.s. government didn't do very much with this information. >> now did the information given to mr. brennan, did it suggest that this was essentially coming
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from yemen? >> oh absolutely. because the saudis knew that this guy, he was a saudi terrorist, he fled saudi arabia, he went to yemen, and then he apparently arranged with prince nayaf to come back and turn himself in. he was coming back to try to assassinate the prince. >> the other intriguing thing that you reported a couple days ago, is that president obama himself received some sort of terror briefing on december the 22nd, three days before christmas, and that in this briefing, there was no mention of yemen. >> well, the way it was described to me, was that the briefing was a briefing about holiday threats to the homeland in this holiday period. there was some sort of intelligence community handout, described to me, some sort of paper at the center of this briefing and the paper itself didn't mention yemen in any way. now, i asked officials who are familiar with this briefing whether yemen was discussed in the oral discussion and i was
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told we're not going to tell you anything more about what was discussed in that briefing which i thought was a little bit odd. i don't want to impute to them any particular discussion whatsoever, but they were a little bit strange in the way that they treated this in explaining it to me and so i think -- i still have some questions as to what they were told and what they weren't told. i don't necessarily believe, however, that president obama, you know, knew that this was going to happen and then went off on vacation anyway. people are beginning to spin that conspiracy theory. i don't see any evidence of that at this point. >> every president will receive a specific terror briefings about the holidays and what not. it's so striking that yemen would not be included in that briefing and it's also pretty striking that when you talk about this information that mr. brennan got several months ago, that it doesn't appear, correct me if i'm wrong, that he shared that information, at least as far as we know. >> i think what they're putting out, as we reported on our blog,
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on the "newsweek" website, they're saying that this information was passed to the appropriate authorities in the american government. i can't see at this point that anybody paid very much attention to it. so i think the white house will say and i think there's probably some evidence that it was distributed around the government. as to whether anybody paid attention to it, i don't get the sense that it was treated very seriously, just like as we know now, the reports from the would-be underpants' bomber's father when he went to the embassy in nigeria and said my son is hanging out with extremists in yemen, that was reported to the cia, to the state department, but they don't seem to have taken those reports very seriously. >> it all seems to underscore that the problem may not necessarily be that the intelligence isn't there. it's just that there's not the proper analysis, there's not somebody who can take the bits an pieces of information, whether it's from mr. brennan and gets passed along, as it gets passed along, somebody analyzing and saying wait a minute, maybe this matches up
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with this piece of information coming in from a man in nigeria worried about his son or the chatter picked up about al qaeda suggesting that they have a nigerian, there's some analysis missing from all that, right? >> that's correct. the pieces weren't put together and, of course, the systems were set up after 9/11 that were supposed to enable these pieces to be put together. you know, it's all very easy to say in hindsight you should put this together with that, and this is obvious, we can say this easily in hindsight, but nonetheless from the looks of things the ball was dropped probably by more than one person, maybe including the white house, and, you know, there's a huge blame game going on now here in washington. everybody's accusing everybody else of dropping the ball. there probably is blame to go all around. president obama has ordered a multiple reviews of this and we'll see where that all ends up. >> before we let you go, one quick question about the developing news as far as the embassies being closed. "newsweek" have any new
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information or any reporting that you've done on that as far as why the embassies were closed? >> my guess is, and i haven't done enough on the reporting because it's still pretty early today, is that they've had very specific threats from al qaeda that we're going to get your embassies and so as a rather obvious precaution, they're shutting them down and getting people out of there. it seems to me that there's almost a kind of secret war going on there in yemen backed by the united states against al qaeda, which actually began before this airport bombing and -- or the attempted airport bombing, and this seems to me to be the extremely reasonable precaution and that the threats are probably pretty formidable. >> mark hosenball investigative reporter for "newsweek," thanks for coming on this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. new details this morning on the winter storm that is affecting all of us in the mid-atlantic region and the northeast. a foot of snow is already on the ground in maine, with more on the way and this as temperatures
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from the south to the plains drop to new lows. meteorologist alex wallace joins us live from the weather channel in atlanta. alex, good morning. >> good morning to you. you said it all there, david. it is cold, cold and that's the big story here for us. want it take you up towards the ice box of the u.s., international falls here in minnesota, that dropped down into the minus 30s this morning. in fact, the past couple morning we've been talking about some record lows here. so very, very cold stuff, indeed. we're not going to warm up a whole lot across the country as we head through this afternoon. we're talking about highs here for us across portions of the plains, in the 20s. all the way down into the south, miami, well that's a bargain, 65 for at least the folks in the northern plains, but even for the folks in sf south florida, that's pretty cold. should be in the 70s. boston around 32 degrees. new york city, only getting to 24 for your day. if you want some warm stuff, head over towards los angeles. that's where the temperatures are actually warming up.
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upper 70s there in southern california. so not too bad. it's this cold air that's rolling in and driving over some of those lake waters causing some issues here. we're talking about lake-effect snow that's going to be impacting us over the next couple days. we'll see snow amount in the southeastern or southwestern lower michigan 6 to 10 inch range and we ramp it up as we head downwind of lake erie and ontario. a lot of folks will be bundling up and shoveling. >> alex, thank you very much. alex wallace at the weather channel. to all of our viewers, we welcome your weather stories. you can send us your pictures and video from the latest winter storm, but also we remind you exercise caution when doing so and in addition to on-line or e-mails, if you want to twitter pictures or just messages, twitter address is twitter.com/david shuster. the buzz continues to build about apple's widely anticipated tablet computer. the long rumored tablet
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reportedly set to be unveiled by the company on january the 26th. joining us now is p.j.jakobawitz. analyst with pj mag.com. shaping up to be a hot item in 2010. tell us about it. >> it's going to be exciting. right now, no one knows exactly what it is, because apple does not announce products ahead of a launch. but the rumors are wild right now. i think most likely you're going to see they have the apple ipod touch, 3.5 inch display, the tablet is probably going to be anywhere from 7 to 10 inches, and it's going to look almost identical to an ipod touch. run the exact same operating system, so all the applications that were already developed for the iphone and the ipod touch will run on this larger display. it would also be higher resolution. and you can expect it to run anywhere between 500 and probably 500 and $1,000, but less than $1,000. also, they'll probably be a
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front-facing video camera as well, for video chatting. >> now, what we were just showing was not actually -- it's an image of what people expect it might be, although we don't know that's it. >> right. >> the idea, alex, if, in fact, this is a flat thing with some sort of keyboard, a lot of people may wonder, feels awkward, looks awkward to imagine looking at a flat tablet and somehow trying to type and make sure, because we're so used to having the screen sort of perpendicular to us. >> well, you know, i think they might have solved some of those issues with the iphone and the ipod touch. if you look at maybe their competitors like microsoft, they've actually put out tablets before returning the windows operating system. the problem is, the windows operating system isn't that great. it's not good at navigating with your finger. but the iphone's operating system is actually a great device for operating with your fingers and touching things and, you know, people are used to the iphone and ipod touch. they're gaining market share every day.
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i think that operating system is the key to everything. and it will be much easier to use that device. >> tell me again how much we can expect that to cost and also while you're at it, tell me how much we can expect to pay for these 3d televisions coming out? >> yeah. i would expect the apple tablet to be under $1,000 and somewhere between, you know, $500, maybe $700. somewhere between $500, $700 probably. also, new technology expect in 2010, 3d hd tvs will be coming to market. you can expect them in stores the first half of 2010. probably around $4,000 is what you can expect. about 150 to $200 for each pair of glasses. these are not like the regular, you know, old-school glasses with the red and blue film. these are polarized lenses that receive information from an emitter coming from basically a computer. >> wow. so for those of us who lose our glasses or whose spouses do,
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we're in trouble. >> exactly. >> analyst with pcmag.com, thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> you're welcome. in just a moment, a feat of engineering and art tisstry, we'll take a closer look at the world's tallest building, set to open in just a couple hours. it is spectacular. you're watching "msnbc sunday." . ♪ with the centers for disease control and prevention saying... that vaccination is still your best protection, walgreens and take care clinics... now offer h1n1 flu vaccinations... every day at our more than 7000 locations nationwide... for just $18.00. so stop in today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well.
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the world's tallest building is set to open tomorrow in dubai at over 2,600 feet. the long-awaited building will boast 160 floors and can be seen from 59 miles away. the much-anticipated live inauguration of the skyscraper is expected to be watched by 2 billion people around the world. fireworks and more. joining us now is architect scott glass, his firm gerring glass designed the trump international hotel and tower under construction in honolulu. according to my notes here, this
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building in dubai, its observation deck is on the 124th floor. put that in some perspective for us? >> the building itself is something like two times taller, roughly two times taller than the empire state building. that observation deck is actually above -- is probably just above almost the spire of the empire state building. >> and compare it, for example, to what used to be known as the sears tower in chicago, the building itself, 50 stories taller than that building? >> incredible. you know, you can see the pictures of it. . it's an elegant building. it has a lot to remind us of the sears tower. it's just a real feat of architecture and engineering. >> as far as the engineering, how high can we go these days in engineering? >> you know, right now, this is it. this is where we're at with the technology and with the construction capabilities. but i mean, you know, there will be something that gets taller. it's obviously a matter of when, given the economic, you know,
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situation in the world and all that kind of stuff, but, you know, this building we learned a lot of lessons about how to pump concrete, how to form things, and inclement conditions because of the heat there. this building will be the stepping stone for another taller building down the road. >> and scott, how safe is a building this tall? >> well, i think, you know, this particular project, i can't speak to it in detail, but it has a world-class design team, the architects have done projects of this scale, not quite of this scale obviously, but many times before, the engineering team has. they have great peer reviews, world-class architects, engineers reviewing the work of the team, and the construction consortium made up of a korean group, am ma rites group and belgium group has done the same thing with towers and been successful in the past. on a structural level it's very safe. additionally we've learned a lot of lessons since 9/11 about how to get people out of buildings like this. this building is, again, state
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of the art in that technology with places of refuge up and down the building and enough stairs and that kind of thing. >> all of us have had the pleasure of going to dubai, have no doubt noticed the incredible architectural structures they have. for many years, it seemed like the standout was the hotel that was built essentially off the coast that looks like a giant sailboat. but is this really the end given dubai's financial problems right now? >> you know, i think a lot of people like to think of these things as temporary. we're certainly at the end of an era, i think, in terms of being able to build large projects, almost anywhere in the world. we'll certainly see some large projects coming and going in the next few years, but the last ten years has been incredible. we've built more all over the world than i think in any kind of generation before. so i think this is an amazing sim bolg of the kind of end of this particular era. >> well, and would have been
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nice had a symbol like this been able to put down at ground zero in new york, almost breaks your heart we as americans can't claim americans can't claim to have the tallest building in the world. but so it goes. scott glass, thanks so much for coming in. in a moment, more fallout from the botched terror attack. will it trigger a political fight here in the united states? we have the latest information on that attempt to blow up the airliner over detroit. you're watching msnbc sunday. show and tell... with all the pet hair in the air my eyes would really itch. but now i have new zyrtec® itchy eye drops. no other allergy itchy eye drop works faster or longer.
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new developments in yemen today where al qaeda is said to have recruited and armed the so called underwear bomber. the u.s. embassy is closed in yemen because of an active threat from al qaeda. president obama set to return to washington tomorrow ahead of a tuesday meeting with top security officials on the series of failures that allowed the bomb suspect to board a plane armed with explosives. for more now on who will be held accountable for the breach, we've joined by eleanor clift, contributing editor for "newsweek" magazine, karen
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hunter, she teaches journalism at hunter college. sabrina schafer, visiting fellow for the independent women's forum and blogger for the inkwell. sabrina, who do you think should be held accountable? >> the fact is that president obama owns this issue of national security now. and unfortunately i don't think he's shown the kind of leadership that we should expect from the commander in chief. there's been a pattern that developed over the first year of his presidency from announcing the closing. guantanamo to trying khalid shaikh mohammed in a civilian court. talking about going to war essentially with our own cia interrogators. i think the country's saying, whoa, are you really in control? do you really see this as a war that we're fighting or is this a legal battle or pr campaign you are fighting? >> if you're going to make that argument, maybe we should blame dick cheney and george w. bush because they were the ones after all that let these guys out of guantanamo bay who went to yemen who insisted on putting this plot together. karen hunter? >> i couldn't agree with you
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more. you took the words right out of my mouth. i think we should blame first the terrorists but we should also blame the people who are responsible formakering sure that people don't get on planes with bombs in their underwear. there was a breakdown clearly. this man should have never been on a plane. now america has to suffer because this man didn't do his job. whoever didn't do their job ought to be fired, yeah. but it should be accountability at the top first with the people who are in charge of keeping us safe. david, i couldn't agree with you more. >> eleanor clift, by every indication there was plenty of intelligence that was available, that the problem came and that these systems that were supposed to have been put in place after 9/11 to better be able to sift through the intelligence, analyze it and bring it all together for whatever reason that didn't happen. what do you make of it? >> right. as the president put it, it is human failure and systemic failure. i think the humans looked at the report from the father of the underwear bomber as a missing
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person and weren't jolted enough to think he might and security risk. then the system breaks down in a number of places. but we cannot detect plastic explosives with the routine screening equipment that we have. that means going to these full-body scanners. there's been some resistance to that as well. the president and the national security apparatus were aware of the threat of somebody carrying explosives in their underwear. it was reported by the saudis which had a similar experience. but to respond to that, i suppose you could have heightened security at various airports. but again, it is not detktable so i think we got lucky this time. i think the president's responded appropriately in now re-examining all our procedures. when richard reid, the shoe bomber of several years ago, when that occurred, i don't recall the same kind of political finger pointing that is going on today. >> i agree, eleanor.
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but let's remember that first of all richard reid happened just in the wake of 9/11. we were not organized in the way that we are today with military tribunals. he also was an american citizen who admitted his guilt. so it is very different than what we're dealing with now. >> karen, it wasn't the week of 9/11. it was december, right on the eve of christmas. again for republicans to complain that where's president obama on the eve of christmas, how come he doesn't break his vacation and talk to the american people, president bush on the eve of christmas, it had already been four days since richard reid and the president hadn't said a word. >> that's true. and whether the bomb was in the underwear or the shoe, the reality is the man got on a plane, he had paid cash, he didn't have luggage. there were other things even before the underwear bomb that would have precluded him from being on this plane. someone didn't do their job and they should be held accountable and fired. >> maybe we should be talking about the whole visa procedure. the fact is we don't take visa as a security threat anymore. visas are executed and done by the state

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